Local health department approaches to opioid use prevention and response : an environmental scan
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Local health department approaches to opioid use prevention and response : an environmental scan
  • Published Date:

    July 2019

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  • Description:
    In December 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report released a report of opioid-involved overdose deaths1 finding that 47,600 Americans died because of opioid-related overdoses in 2017— 68% of all fatal overdoses and six times the number recorded in 1999.2 Despite these statistics, strides have been made across the county to slow the epidemic’s progression. Inevitably, much of this important day-to-day work falls to communities and their local health departments (LHDs), which play an invaluable role in designing, coordinating, and implementing the response. Despite these efforts, there is a lack of information about how LHDs are conducting opioid prevention and response activities and a lack of access to case studies and evidence-based best practices to guide LHDs seeking examples of experienced programs. In an initial attempt to learn more, the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) included questions about opioids in their biannual 2018 Forces of Change Study and found that about two-thirds of LHDs actively addressed the opioid crisis in 2017.3 While a few other data points on the subject were collected, NACCHO identified a further need to dive deeper and document the range of activities LHDs conduct by administering an environmental scan. The goal of the scan was to create a foundational understanding of LHD opioid overdose prevention and response efforts to inform priorities at the local, state, and national levels. NACCHO would like to thank the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for providing financial support for this work, under cooperative agreement CDC #6NU38OT000306-01-01. We also would like to thank the experts from local health departments who volunteered their time to participate in our survey. Finally, we would like thank the NACCHO LOOPR and Communications team for their assistance in drafting this report. Environmental-Scan-V3-July-2019-FINAL-v2.pdf
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